PixInsight 1.8.8-5 Released

Juan Conejero

PTeam Member
Sep 2, 2004
7,358
57
56
Valencia, Spain
pixinsight.com
Hi all,

I am glad to announce a new version of the PixInsight core application: 1.8.8-5. This is an important maintenance release providing bug fixes, new features and stability improvements on all platforms.

Installation packages for PixInsight 1.8.8-5 are now available to all licensed users for FreeBSD, Linux, macOS and Windows:

https://pixinsight.com/dist/

This version is not available as an application update. You have to install version 1.8.8-5 manually:

- FreeBSD and Linux: The installation packages are xz-compressed tar archives (.tar.xz). To install one of these archives, just extract its full contents on any directory, preferably on one located under your home directory. Then become root and run the installer program from a terminal. Normally you should just type "yes" and press Enter to accept the default settings. Say './installer --help' for detailed information on command line arguments.

- macOS: If you have a previous version of PixInsight already installed, you must uninstall it by moving the /Applications/PixInsight folder to trash (also known as bin on macOS 10.15). Run the .pkg installation package and follow the instructions. All our macOS installation packages have been notarized by Apple.

- Windows: If you have a previous version of PixInsight already installed, please uninstall it from Control Panel or Add or Remove Programs. Then run the installation package for version 1.8.8-5 and follow the instructions. All executable files in the PixInsight distribution for Windows, as well as our installation packages, have been signed with our EV code signing certificate.

If you have version 1.8.6, 1.8.7 or 1.8.8 already installed, this new version does not require a license reactivation. If you are still using a 1.8.5 version or older, see the official 1.8.6 version announcement for a detailed description of our new licensing system. See also FAQ 2.10 for additional information on license reactivations.


Main Bug Fixes and Improvements

This version is a maintenance release focused on performance and stability improvements, paving the way towards PixInsight 1.8.9. Version 1.8.8-5 fixes most confirmed bugs since the initial 1.8.8 release, and provides some relevant new features. A partial list follows with the most important changes.


AnnotateImage Script version 2.1.1

PixInsight 1.8.8-5 introduces a new version of the AnnotateImage script by Andr?s del Pozo. Version 2.1.1 implements the following new features and improvements:

* New label placement optimization algorithm. In this version I have implemented a new algorithm that prevents overlapping of annotation labels and optimizes readability. The following screenshot shows an example of the dramatic improvements achieved with this new feature (left: no label placement optimization, right: optimized):

Image courtesy of Adam Block

The algorithm uses rectangle quadtrees for fast searching of graphical entities and local optimization with a minimum distance maximization criterion. This is one of my favorite computational geometry problems, so you can expect more improvements in successive versions.

* New drop shadow feature. When this option is selected, the entire annotation is drawn with a drop shadow effect. This feature can be used to improve readability of annotations over extended bright areas, such as bright stars and nebulae. See an example below (left: optimized, no drop shadow; right: optimized + drop shadow):


* Improved label typography:

  - Label dimensions and locations are now correct on all platforms.

  - Supports applicable fonts included in the standard PixInsight distribution, selectable for all layers.

  - The Named stars catalog translates SIMBAD abbreviations of greek letters in star names to Unicode characters (from \u03b1 to \u03c9)

* Improved user interface.

* Removed the limit to annotate images larger than 500 Mpx.


ImageSolver Script version 5.4.4

* Improved user interface.

* Removed the limit to draw on control images larger than 2 GiB.


ImageIntegration: Improved Pixel Rejection Algorithm Implementations

* ESD Rejection: New low relaxation parameter. This is a relaxation factor for rejection of low pixels implemented in the Generalized Extreme Studentized Deviate (ESD) outlier detection algorithm. The larger the value of this parameter, the more permissive the ESD algorithm will be for rejection of pixels with values below the median of each pixel stack. This can be useful to reject less dark pixels on sky background areas and extended nebular regions, where high dispersion induced by noise may lead to excessive detection of false outliers.

* ESD Rejection: Improved robustness. In this new version we have modified slightly the original algorithm described by Bernard Rosner in his 1983 paper Percentage Points for a Generalized ESD Many-Outlier procedure to make it more robust for the pixel rejection task. Our tests show that these changes have improved the performance of this pixel rejection method significantly.

* Winsorized Sigma Clipping Rejection: Improved robustness. We have modified the Huber estimation loop with an improved initial scale estimate (Rousseeuw and Croux Qn instead of the standard deviation).


PhotometricColorCalibration: Usability Improvements

* The Online Coordinate Search dialog has been improved. It now allows you to select one of two public SIMBAD database services: The master SIMBAD service in France (Centre de Donn?es Astronomiques de Strasbourg) and its mirror site in the USA (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics). This should fix most connectivity issues when one of these servers is temporarily out of service.


Windows: Stability Improvements

Recent Windows 10 updates have generated reproducible problems with PixInsight 1.8.8-4 and older versions, which have been reported in many occasions on this forum. With version 1.8.8-5 we have worked hard to avoid all of these stability issues. As a result, this new version of PixInsight is very stable on Windows 10 in all of our tests. We believe that we have done all we can do to prevent these problems on Windows for now. Unfortunately, since these problems are out of our control because they don't originate from our code, we cannot guarantee that they won't happen on some hardware/software/driver configurations. If there are new reproducible issues, we'll try to fix them as far as possible.


Linux: Experimental Wayland Support

PixInsight 1.8.8-5 for Linux supports the Wayland protocol. Please note that this new feature is experimental, so it should work but we cannot guarantee anything. For total stability and maximum performance, we still recommend (and predictably will recommend for a long time) an X11-based desktop environment (KDE recommended) on Linux and FreeBSD.


Known Issues

FreeBSD and Linux

* Recent versions of the KDE Plasma desktop environment include a morphing popups desktop effect that causes problems with recent PixInsight versions. If this effect is enabled, it slows down some dragging operations in the PixInsight core application, such as dragging icons and view selectors. You should disable this effect, which is very easy from KDE's System Settings panel. This problem is also present on Linux.

* On recent versions of the KDE Plasma desktop environment, a display tearing prevention option (v-sync) is enabled by default. This option can cause input lag problems (e.g., slow cursor movement over image windows). This option should be disabled for optimal PixInsight performance:

- System Settings > Display and Monitor > Tearing prevention: set to 'Never'
- Click Apply

Linux

* PixInsight is not compatible with the open-source Nouveau graphics driver. If your distribution is using Nouveau, you must remove and replace it with the proprietary Nvidia driver in order to use PixInsight.

macOS

* On Apple MacBook laptops with dual graphics cards, the integrated Intel HD graphics driver has been causing minor usability issues on macOS 10.14 Mojave. Apparently these problems have been fixed in macOS 10.15 Catalina. However, for maximum performance and stability, we recommend disabling the integrated Intel HD graphics before running PixInsight on MacBook laptops. This can be done very easily:

- System Preferences > Energy Saver > Automatic graphics switching: disable.

Windows

* Intel HD graphics drivers have been causing serious problems on Windows. Hopefully most of these issues have been resolved once we no longer depend on desktop OpenGL drivers by default.

* On some laptops with nonstandard screen resolutions, such as the Microsoft Surface, PixInsight cannot find valid screen scaling factors automatically. On these machines, you may have to run the PixInsight core application with the --ui-scaling command line argument. For example, to apply a UI scaling factor of 2:

C:\Program Files\PixInsight\bin\PixInsight.exe --ui-scaling=2

You only have to do this once, since the scaling factor will be stored in application preferences automatically. Of course, if you already are using version 1.8.6 and the interface looks correct, then you don't need to do this; this is only required for new installations.

__________

Thank you for your attention.
 

MineralMike

Well-known member
Aug 11, 2018
67
0
I'm pleased to report that the "This application has stopped working" window that popped up every time I closed PI on Windows 8.1 is gone! Pi now closes cleanly with no error message afterward. Thank you!

--- Mike
 

jaimegf

New member
Feb 29, 2020
1
0
Hi,

On Windows, I uninstalled the previous version (1.8.8-4) and installed the new one (1.8.8-5). When I try to run PI, it gives the following error: "Authentication error. Server response: 'INVALID AUTHORIZATION CODE'.
I uninstalled the new and installed the 1.8.8-4 again, but now the error continue. What can I do?

Thanks,

Jaime

----------------------------

Solved deleting the folder %UserProfile%\AppData\Roaming\Pleiades and requesting a reactivation.

Thanks,
 

liberty54321

New member
Feb 29, 2020
1
0
1.8.8-5 is amazing. Thanks for working on Wayland. Unfortunately running on pure Wayland setup (Weston) on Linux , PixInsight still crashes on launch. Did I miss anything?
 

dwormuth

Member
Mar 28, 2015
21
0
Running on MacOS Catalina 10.15.2, once I install, I have to force quit PixInsight. Never launches a window
 

astrodoc71

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2012
100
6
Thank you! I can confirm for others who may have been having this issue that the Linear Pattern Subtraction script is working fine now. In the prior version it could never finish processing more than a few files before crashing. This is on a Win 10 machine.
Thanks again!
Regards,
Dave
 

CCD1024

Well-known member
Sep 22, 2007
402
0
France - Paris
www.cielaustral.com
No installation issue at all on MBP with Catalina 10.15.3
:angel: 
All is running like a charm


Starnet++ issue should be solve and all will be perfect (even if the real Pixinsight part is already perfect as Starnet is not part of Pix)  >:D

 

talbotj

Well-known member
Hi Folks,
Has anyone had any issue installing StarNet ++ with the new version of PI 1.8.8-5 on Mac OS Catalina 10.15.3?

I previously had StarNet++ installed on PI 1.8.8-3 and used it without issue.  When trying to install the module in 1.8.8-5 the module dialog keeps coming up with no new modules found after a recursive search.  Yes, I have gone to Security and Privacy to allow StarNet to run from an unidentified developer.

Just for grins, I deleted PI 1.8.8-5 and reinstalled PI 1.8.8-3 from December.  I was able to install StarNet without issue.  Then went back and installed PI 1.8.8-5 again and again under Process, Modules, Install new modules, StarNet is not found. 

I'm thinking something must have happened in this new version of PI in regards to the "search for new modules" function

Jon
 

dwormuth

Member
Mar 28, 2015
21
0
dwormuth said:
Running on MacOS Catalina 10.15.2, once I install, I have to force quit PixInsight. Never launches a window
After I upgraded to Catalina 10.15.3 this ran without reinstall. Perhaps some 10.15.2 gremlin is undiscovered.

Dave
 

AnakChan

Member
Feb 16, 2019
17
0
Hi, I've got a couple of crashes recently on my iMac Pro with Catalina during darks generation, and wondering where I could send the crash dumps to? It seems to go hand-in-hand with WindowServer process crashes, and logs me out (and I have to log back in). Luckily no actual server crashes.

It's happened 2-3 times in just building a master dark; granted the file sizes are large due to a large high res sensor.
 

Juan Conejero

PTeam Member
Sep 2, 2004
7,358
57
56
Valencia, Spain
pixinsight.com
Post this on the Bug Reports board. Please provide information to reproduce the problem. For these issues we normally need a data set to reproduce the problem on our machines. You can upload your data to a cloud storage service such as Dropbox and post a link in your bug report.